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A New Policy For The Koreas

A New Policy For The KoreasAs George Bush Makes His First Visit To South Korea, Former Ambassador And Fletcher Dean Stephen Bosworth Says US Policy May Take New Shape.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [03.07.01] Today's summit between George W. Bush and South Korean President Kim Dae Jung marks the first meeting between the leaders of the two countries since the Bush administration took office in January. The two are expected to discuss a wide range of pending foreign policy issues in the politically volatile region, including the direction of the Bush administration's policy towards North and South Korea and the future of negotiations with North Korea over its missile program.

Despite the change of power in the White House, Stephen Bosworth -- the former US Ambassador to South Korea and the new dean of Tufts' Fletcher School -- said he expects the substance of US policy towards the region to remain similar to the Clinton administration's policy.

Any changes, Bosworth told today's Boston Globe, will mostly be in "tone and pace, rather than real substance."

While the former ambassador told the Globe that Bush "isn't likely to continue the Clinton policy," the newspaper reports that Bosworth doesn't expect major changes.

"I don't think this administration is going to want to get itself crosswise with what South Korea is trying to do," Bosworth said in the Globe's article. "The issue is whether this administration is prepared to begin active engagement on its own with North Korea."

North Korea, it appears, has already taken the first step towards engagement.

In late February, North Korea accused Bush of taking "a hard-line stance," calling US policy towards the region "aggressive and brigandish," reported the Washington Times.

Bosworth said in the Time's article that the message "was basically designed to make sure they have the attention of the new administration."

The Tufts dean added, "These guys are nothing if not realists. They understand they have to pick up the pieces with a new administration, and they've signaled quite strongly that they want to do that."

In a ceremony this evening, Bosworth will officially be installed as the seventh Dean of Tufts' Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

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